Survey: trend towards repairing smartphones
How well do smartphone owners in Germany act in the event of damage to the device? Bitkom Research investigated this issue on behalf of the Bitkom digital association. 37% of respondents whose smartphone has already had a defect decided to have it repaired. 19% had it done by the manufacturer, 16% turned to the dealer and 6% to an independent workshop. 17% of respondents said they repaired damage to a smartphone themselves.
In August and September 2021, 1,003 people in Germany aged 16 and over were interviewed by telephone for the survey. “There is a wide range of repair offers that are actively used. With repairs, many consumers are reducing the amount of electronic waste and saving resources and the environment, ”commented Bitkom CEO Dr Bernhard Rohleder.
Show damage most often – and mostly self-inflicted
92% of those questioned had already had a defect in their device. By far the part of the device that breaks the most frequently is the screen, according to the survey: 77% of those surveyed have suffered damage to the screen in the past. They also reported case damage (41%), battery issues (32%), faulty speakers (24%) and microphones (22%), and water damage (19%).
The survey also shows: In most cases, damage to cellphones is not due to production errors. 57 percent of those polled said they were responsible for the fault themselves, 16 percent it was someone else. 21 percent cited general wear and tear as the cause. Only 2% of the faults occurred on the new device at the factory.
Policy should create incentives for cheap repairs
Among smartphone owners who decided not to repair a device when it failed, 52% bought a new device and 15% continued to use their smartphone despite the damage. As a reason for not having made repairs, 80% answered that it cost them too much. 55% of those surveyed said the repair was too complicated for them. 45% planned to buy a new device at the time of the damage. Rohleder: “The existing repair offers must be made more attractive – with effective policy levers. One of them would be tax relief to make repairs more affordable for consumers, ”Rohleder said.
70 percent of smartphone users think it makes sense to reduce VAT on repairs and, according to the survey, 60 percent would like a government subsidy for repair costs. The state of Thuringia grants consumers a reimbursement of half the costs if they have a broken smartphone or tablet, but also repaired household appliances.
Right of reparation
In the EU, there is a right to repair household appliances since March 2021. Not only here, but also in the United States, there is a discussion about extending this right to smartphones. “In addition to reducing repairs, the promotion and research of new technologies would also be important, such as the production of spare parts from the 3D printer. It’s not only cheaper and more environmentally friendly than flying spare parts from Asia to Germany, for example – it also opens up this possibility of producing spare parts for older devices. », Explains the general manager of Bitkom
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